Dwight Gayle reflects to his 19-goal start to life at Newcastle '“ and reveals his aim for 2017
Dwight Gayle says he's only got one hope for 2017 '“ promotion for Newcastle United.
The striker took his goal tally for the season to 19 with two goals in last week’s 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
United’s victory took the club back to the top of the Championship ahead of this afternoon’s game against Blackburn Rovers.
Gayle, set to become the first Newcastle player since Alan Shearer to reach the 20-goal mark, is looking to add to his tally at Ewood Park, where the club will be backed by almost 7,000 fans.
The 26-year-old, signed from Crystal Palace last summer, says his goalscoring owes everything to his team-mates.
Gayle said: “It’s really nice to get the goals.
“This is what I love doing and after each goal it’s just a fantastic feeling.
“Obviously, I need to pay a lot of credit to the team, though, and what they’re doing for me.
“A good 90% of my goals are coming from inside the six-yard box. You need to understand the team’s doing a lot for me, and I love playing in front of the quality we’ve got. Long may it continue.
“It’s fantastic for me to be on 19 goals at this stage.
“At times, I perhaps get a bit frustrated because I maybe don’t get to touch the ball as much as I want, but when I do get to touch the ball, it’s obviously in good positions, and I’m scoring so I can’t argue really.”
Asked what his hopes for 2017 were, Gayle added: “Promotions – as simple as that.”
Newcastle lead second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion by one point, though Chris Hughton’s side have a game in hand following the postponement of Friday night’s fixture against Cardiff City.
“Of course, it’s nice to be top of the table, but obviously we’ve played more games than Brighton and we know they’re going to be there all of the way with us,” said Gayle.
“The main thing for us is just to continue what we’re doing.
“If we can play the same way we have been, and pick up the same number of points as we have done for the first half of the season, we know we’ll be there or thereabouts.
“So we need to continue to keep doing what we’re doing, keep pushing on and get more points on the board.”
Blackburn won 1-0 at St James’s Park in November.
“We go into it with confidence,” said Gayle. “But we need to go there knowing if we don’t turn up, we could lose.
“We’ve seen that when they came up to our place that they can be a very dangerous team. They set up strong and were hard to break down.
“We need to go in there with our heads switched on, and with intensity.”